Johannesburg - Eskom has declined to comment on a news
report that it would ask the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) to almost
double electricity prices over the next five years.
"We are busy finalising our application and will be
submitting hopefully later this month," Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe
said on Thursday.
The Sowetan earlier reported Eskom would ask Nersa for
revenue totalling R1.7 trillion over five years.
This would see household electricity prices rising from 60c
per kilowatt hour to 112c.
Joffe said the Sowetan did not have Eskom's "final
numbers" as these were still being drawn up.
"We were ready to submit at the end of August but we
were asked by government to do additional work."
The next five-year tariff period will come into effect on
April 1 next year, and Nersa needs to make a decision by March.
"We are very keen to have South Africans engaging with
the application and participate in the public process," Joffe said.
The Sowetan warned that price increases of this magnitude
would have devastating consequences for poor households.
It could also threaten jobs in energy-intensive sectors.
However, below-inflation increases could threaten Eskom's
Further price increases would also force consumers to use
One way to rein in electricity price hikes would be to keep
coal costs under government control.
Coal accounts for 50% of Eskom's cost base.
However, this would reduce returns to mining companies, the
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